Arthur Hill (actor)

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Arthur Hill
Arthur Hill 1971.JPG
Hill in 1971 as Owen Marshall.
BornArthur Edward Spence Hill
(1922-08-01)August 1, 1922
Melfort, Saskatchewan, Canada
DiedOctober 22, 2006(2006-10-22) (aged 84)
Los Angeles, California, U.S.
Alma materUniversity of British Columbia
Years active1949–1990
Spouse(s)Peggy Hassard (1942-1998; her death; 2 children)
Anne-Sophie Taraba (2001-2006; his death)
Back, L-R: Reni Santori, Arthur Hill, Lee Majors. Front: Joan Darling and Christine Matchett Owen Marshall cast 1973.JPG
Back, L-R: Reni Santori, Arthur Hill, Lee Majors. Front: Joan Darling and Christine Matchett

Arthur Edward Spence Hill (August 1, 1922 – October 22, 2006) was a Canadian actor best known for appearances in British and American theatre, films, and television. He attended the University of British Columbia and continued his acting studies in Seattle, Washington.

University of British Columbia public research university in British Columbia, Canada

The University of British Columbia (UBC) is a public research university with campuses in Vancouver and Kelowna, British Columbia. Established in 1908, UBC is British Columbia's oldest university. The university is ranked among the top 20 public universities worldwide and among the top three in Canada. With an annual research budget of $600 million, UBC funds over 8,000 projects a year.


Early life and education

Hill was born in Melfort, Saskatchewan, the son of Edith Georgina (Spence) and Olin Drake Hill, a lawyer. [1] Hill served as a mechanic in the Royal Canadian Air Force during World War II and attended the University of British Columbia, where he studied law, but was lured to the stage.

Melfort, Saskatchewan City in Saskatchewan, Canada

Melfort is a city in Saskatchewan, Canada, located approximately 95 km (59 mi) southeast of Prince Albert, 172 km (107 mi) northeast of Saskatoon and 280 km (170 mi) north of Regina.

Royal Canadian Air Force Air warfare branch of Canadas military

The Royal Canadian Air Force is the air force of Canada. Its role is to "provide the Canadian Forces with relevant, responsive and effective airpower". The RCAF is one of three environmental commands within the unified Canadian Armed Forces. As of 2013, the Royal Canadian Air Force consists of 14,500 Regular Force and 2,600 Primary Reserve personnel, supported by 2,500 civilians, and operates 258 manned aircraft and 9 unmanned aerial vehicles. Lieutenant-General Al Meinzinger is the current Commander of the Royal Canadian Air Force and Chief of the Air Force Staff.


Hill made his Broadway debut as Cornelius Hackl in the 1957 revival of Thornton Wilder's The Matchmaker . In 1963 he won the Tony Award for Best Dramatic Actor for his portrayal of George in the original Broadway production of Who's Afraid of Virginia Woolf? (with Uta Hagen). His other Broadway credits include Ben Gant in the original production of Ketti Frings's Look Homeward, Angel (1957), All the Way Home (1960), Something More! (1964), and More Stately Mansions (1967).

Thornton Wilder American playwright and novelist

Thornton Niven Wilder was an American playwright and novelist. He won three Pulitzer Prizes—for the novel The Bridge of San Luis Rey, and for the plays Our Town and The Skin of Our Teeth — and a U.S. National Book Award for the novel The Eighth Day.

The Matchmaker is a 1954 play by Thornton Wilder, a rewritten version of his 1938 play The Merchant of Yonkers.

Tony Award awards for live Broadway theatre

The Antoinette Perry Award for Excellence in Broadway Theatre, more commonly known as the Tony Award, recognizes excellence in live Broadway theatre. The awards are presented by the American Theatre Wing and The Broadway League at an annual ceremony in Manhattan. The awards are given for Broadway productions and performances, and an award is given for regional theatre. Several discretionary non-competitive awards are also given, including a Special Tony Award, the Tony Honors for Excellence in Theatre, and the Isabelle Stevenson Award. The awards are named after Antoinette "Tony" Perry, co-founder of the American Theatre Wing.

He played Dr. Jeremy Stone in the film adaptation of Michael Crichton's The Andromeda Strain (1971). Other film work included roles in The Ugly American (1963) with Marlon Brando, Harper (1966), Richard Lester's Petulia (1968) with George C. Scott, The Chairman (1969), Sam Peckinpah's The Killer Elite (1975), Michael Crichton's Futureworld (1976), A Bridge Too Far (1977) (uncredited), and his narration on the film version of Ray Bradbury's Something Wicked This Way Comes (1983).

Michael Crichton American author, screenwriter, film producer

John Michael Crichton was an American author, screenwriter, and film director and producer best known for his work in the science fiction, thriller, and medical fiction genres. His books have sold over 200 million copies worldwide, and over a dozen have been adapted into films.

<i>The Andromeda Strain</i> (film) 1971 film by Robert Wise

The Andromeda Strain is a 1971 American science fiction thriller film produced and directed by Robert Wise. Based on Michael Crichton's 1969 novel of the same name and adapted by Nelson Gidding, the film stars Arthur Hill, James Olson, Kate Reid, and David Wayne as a team of scientists who investigate a deadly organism of extraterrestrial origin. With a few exceptions, the film follows the book closely. The special effects were designed by Douglas Trumbull. The film is notable for its use of split screen in certain scenes.

<i>The Ugly American</i> (film) 1963 film by George Englund

The Ugly American is a 1963 American adventure film directed by George Englund, written by Stewart Stern, and starring Marlon Brando, Sandra Church, Eiji Okada, Pat Hingle, Judson Pratt and Arthur Hill. It is based on the 1958 novel The Ugly American by Eugene Burdick and William Lederer. The film was released on April 2, 1963, by Universal Pictures.

Arguably, Hill's most famous acting role was that of lawyer Owen Marshall, the lead role in the 1971–74 TV series Owen Marshall: Counselor at Law . He appeared on many other series, including The Reporter , a 1964 drama starring Harry Guardino. He also played Grandpa Lansford Ingalls on Little House on the Prairie (1976).

<i>The Reporter</i> (TV series) American drama series

The Reporter is an American drama series that aired on CBS from September 25 to December 18, 1964. The series was created by Jerome Weidman and developed by executive producers Keefe Brasselle and John Simon.

Harry Guardino American actor

Harry Guardino was an American actor whose career spanned from the early 1950s to the early 1990s.

<i>Little House on the Prairie</i> (TV series) American Western drama television series, 1974 to 1983, adaptation of the Little House series

Little House on the Prairie is an American western drama television series, starring Michael Landon, Melissa Gilbert, Karen Grassle, and Melissa Sue Anderson, about a family living on a farm in Walnut Grove, Minnesota, in the 1870s and 1880s. The show is an adaptation of Laura Ingalls Wilder's best-selling series of Little House books. Television producer and NBC executive Ed Friendly became aware of the story in the early 1970s. He asked Michael Landon to direct the pilot movie. Landon agreed on the condition that he could also play Charles Ingalls.

In 1966 he appeared as a special guest star in the Mission Impossible TV show episode "The Carriers" (S1:E10), in the Voyage to the Bottom of the Sea episode "The Monster from the Inferno" and was a guest star in the pilot episode of Murder, She Wrote in 1984, returning to that same role in an episode in 1990. The same year he played the governor of California in a Columbo episode, Agenda for Murder ; this was his last onscreen role.

<i>Voyage to the Bottom of the Sea</i> 1961 film by Irwin Allen

Voyage to the Bottom of the Sea is a 1961 American science fiction disaster film produced and directed by Irwin Allen and starring Walter Pidgeon as Admiral Harriman Nelson and Robert Sterling as Captain Lee Crane. The supporting cast includes Peter Lorre, Joan Fontaine, Barbara Eden, Michael Ansara, and Frankie Avalon. The story was written by Irwin Allen and Charles Bennett. The opening title credits theme song was sung by Frankie Avalon. The film was distributed by 20th Century Fox.

<i>Murder, She Wrote</i> TV series

Murder, She Wrote is an American crime drama television series starring Angela Lansbury as mystery writer and amateur detective Jessica Fletcher. The series aired for 12 seasons with 264 episodes from 1984 to 1996 on the CBS network. It was followed by four TV films. Among the most successful and longest-running television shows in history, it averaged more than 30 million viewers per week in its prime, and was a staple of the CBS Sunday night lineup for a decade. In syndication, the series is still highly successful throughout the world.

<i>Columbo</i> American detective mystery television film series

Columbo is an American television series starring Peter Falk as Columbo, a homicide detective with the Los Angeles Police Department. The character and show, created by Richard Levinson and William Link, popularized the inverted detective story format, which begins by showing the commission of the crime and its perpetrator; the plot therefore usually has no "whodunit" element, and instead revolves around how a perpetrator known to the audience will finally be caught and exposed.


Hill died in a Pacific Palisades, California, nursing home, aged 84, after a long battle with Alzheimer's disease. His ashes were scattered into the Pacific Ocean. [2]

Selected filmography

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  2. Martin, Douglas (October 27, 2006). "Arthur Hill, Actor Who Won Tony for 'Virginia Woolf,' Dies at 84". The New York Times . Retrieved September 26, 2012.